Sjøforklaring 1939 - 1945
Informasjonen nedenfor vedr. skip i Nortraships flåte er direkte avskrift av orginalkilden "Sjøforklaringer fra andre verdenskrig (1940 - 1945)". Informasjonen her er fra sjøforklaringer holdt under og rett etter krigen og kan derfor avvike noe fra den øvrige kvalitetssikrede informasjonen i Krigsseilerregisteret.
Appeared the 1st witness, Olaf Henrik Lagerstedt ... The witness produced a report prepared by himself and fireman Alf Glastad of today's date ...
The report was read out and thereafter approved by the witness as correct in every respect. ...
The witness had been signed on in London, about 10 days previously, together with 9 others of the crew.
The cement cargo was in bags. The vessel took in her cargo at Cliffe, where the ship was lying from Friday till Tuesday, and proceeded from there to Southend. At Cliffe the ship was wiped. The vessel had electric cable.
There should be 12-15 fathoms at the place where the vessel sank according to what the witness had heard at Lowestoft. They thought there that it must have been a vibration mine. An English vessel was also struck at about the same time.
There was only slight choppy sea at the time. Overcast, but the moon came through now and again. It was nearly full moon.
The witness had been on watch on the bridge until 12 o'clock and was asleep in his bunk forward. He did not hear the explosion, but he was at once awakened by his chum in the cabin, Arnt Olsen. In the cabin were, besides himself, the English mess-room boy Forster, Arnt Olsen and an English deck boy. The last mentioned probably did not get out.
The witness did not take the time to bring with him the lifesaving jacket which he had lyning by him in the bunk. He was lying partly dressed and did not put on any more clothes, but ran up the stairs. Fireman Glastad was probably a little ahead of him on the stairs. He at once jumped out just by the entrance at the forward part of the hatch.
Before he jumped he saw that the bridge was intact, the sea had not got there yet. The explosion was evidently aft.
The witness did not see any one else besides A. B. Seaman Arnt Olsen who was in all probability the first man out of the forecastle. The witness saw that Olsen jumped out and the witness saw, whilst he was lying in the water, that Olsen had caught hold of a hatch. It appeared as if the hatch could not support him. Olsen had no lifesaving jacket on. Olsen shouted for help about two or three times in the course of 3-5 minutes. The witness could just barely see Olsen. The witness was approximately between Olsen and the destroyer which was lying 50-100 metres away. The witness was lying in the water for about a quarter of an hour.
Whilst in the water the witness did not see any one else besides Olsen and no other shouts than those of Olsen.
The destroyer which saved the witness did not put out boats. The witness managed to get up by means of the netting on the destroyer. Glastad had been picked up before the witness. Directly after the witness the English mess-room boy was picked up. He had a lifesaving jacket on. The witness went down into the galley on the destroyer. Glastad also a little after the witness. The destroyer was lying for a while without using the engine whilst the witness was in the galley.
Skogen was picked up by another destroyer. Skogen had got sharp pain in the lungs.
The lifesaving jackets were blue-black of the same kind as those on the witness's previous ship, the "Vestmannrød". The lifesaving jackets on board had no whistle or light. He did not know where the lifebelts were on board and had not seen any lifebelt on board. There were some life-buoys. There were no lifesaving suits on board. There was a raft on the starboard side. There were 3 boats, namely: a motor boat on the port side amidship and a boat on each side of the bridge. Boat drill was not carried out at Cliffe.
Whilst the witness was lying in the water the witness saw a column of smoke and water approxiamtely where the vessel had been or, most probably, a little ahead. He saw no illumintaion, but there was an explosion. He, himself, thinks that perhaps this was the explosion which struck the English vessel which was sunk.
The president produced a copy of a list of the crew, received from Nortraship ...
It was stated that the list had been prepared in Nortraship's office based on the crew list of the 31st Autust this year, sent in by the captain to Nortraship, and based on information from the Shipping Office of the Consulate General in London.
The list was put before the witness who remarked that he was not aware that there was more than one trimmer on board, namely, a Scotsman by the Christian name of Charles.
Appeared the 2nd witness, Alf Glastad ... fireman on board. ...
The witness had been signed on in London on the 14th July and came on board at Cliffe on the trip before.
He left the watch at 8 o'clock in the evening and went to the berth and to bed at about 10 o'clock. He was awake and heard the heavy hum of a motor and at once the report came. The vessel shook heavily. It seemed to him as if something fell down from the roof. All the plates were smashed. The lights went out.
He was the first man on deck. The vessel was then lying level as usual. The bridge appeared to be intact. He saw no men. The water was coming like a breaker from aft and the witness jumped out on the port side. The witness had a lifesaving jacket on.
He was lying in the water for perhaps a quarter of an hour. The witness heard several shouts. To the witness they sounded as if they were shouts from seveal men.
One of the cargo vessels stopped, presumably to pick up men, but she continued after the destroyer arrived. From the destroyer the witness saw a man not far away. It was probably Lagerstedt.
There was slight choppy sea. Partly cloudy. The full moon appeared at times from behind the clouds.
When the witness came to the surface, he did not see anything of the ship, but a little later he saw a light which shot up, presumably from the destroyer.
The witness came up to the surface again fairly quickly. And it appeared to the witnes that the jacket then was of assistance.
The witness caught hold of a hatch and as this could not support him, he got hold of one more, and later still another, 3 in all, on which the witness was floating. The witness could swim.
All the lifesaving jackets on board were blue, as far as the witness could see, and had the same appeareance. They had no whistle nor light. They looked as if they were old. The lifesaving jacket, which he had on, was exceedingly heavy. The witness left that jacket at The Mission to Seamen, Suffulk Road, Lowestoft, (telephone:- 746).
At Lowestoft the witness lifted up the jacket and came to the conclusion that for a start the jacket might perhaps be of use. Judging by the state in which the jacket was, at Lowestoft, after it had been in the water for a while, the witness considers it was not as it should be. It felt heavy and far heavier than when he put it on on board.
On the witness's last vessel, the s/s "Tres", the lifesaving jackets had a light, but no whistle. The lifesaving jackets on the "Tres" were yellow. They were quite new. When the witness came to the surface he saw nothing of the vessel, but a little later he saw a light which shot up, probably from the destroyer.
The witness had not seen any lifebelts on board. Of buoys, he had seen two on the hatch on the fore deck. There were two ordinaray lifeboats, one motor boat and a small ship's boat. One raft. No boat drill had been carried out at Cliffe.
The witness believes that the cable was tested in the West India Dock on this trip, but is not certain. In all probability no wiping was done at Cliffe.
There was slight choppy sea. Partly cloudy, the full moon at times came out from behind the clouds.
The witness was shown the produced list of the crew. The witness is ceratin that the following were not on board:-
It was stated that mess-room boy Forster was domiciled in London.
Again appeared the 1st witness, Lagerstedt.
He stated that he had not been confirmed and that his mother had left the State Church when he was about 12-14 years of age.
He did not belong to any religious body. He did not wish to be sworn because it does not agree with his religious belief and not with the bible.
The witness gave his assurance on his honur and conscience.